From Wunderlist to Asana and Why

I have posted a few times about my voyage with WunderlistWunderkit (and what happened to that) and then back to Wunderlist again. The journey of someone seeking efficiency is a relentless one. I have been a fan of 6Wunderkinder for some time now, rarely investigating other services for more than a “how does this work” look-see.

6Wunderkinder spent a great deal of time focusing on rebuilding Wunderlist after their more experimental Wunderkit service failed to gain the traction they were hoping for. And that’s perfectly fine. They have done an excellent job of developing a simple and elegant task/list management service that is available on just about any device. Their desire to make their tools as accessible and simple to use as possible does have its limitations, however. The current release of the iOS revision of Wunderlist have not been updated since October 2013. After declaring on their blog that they were focusing on developing Wunderlist with quicker releases and more features and functionality, not having an update for nearly six months seems contradictory.

Now don’t get me wrong. I mean no disrespect to the 6Wunderkinder team. They’re making great tools. Personally however, I have simply outgrown them. My personal requirements exceed what Wunderlist can currently deliver.

I have been using Asana more and more since mid 2012 when it was the foundation for starting a new business. Since then I’ve begun using it more heavily for everything I need to track and get done for my 9-to-5 job. Late in 2013 I migrated everything related to Cloud Productivity from Wunderlist to Asana. I also setup and started working on some other projects with other people, too.

By March of 2014 I have now been managing everything in Asana. Everything, except my personal to-do’s. I had occasionally looked at the “Personal Projects” component of Asana, but dismissed it. I couldn’t see it as a tool I would use for personal tasks. Why? It came down to the mobile experience. I love the reminder capabilities of Wunderlist. Being able to easily set not only a due date, but a date and time that Wunderlist would remind me of a task was so great, especially when I was out and about.

So what changed? My mentality. I began to realise that I was more reliant on a reminder and a trivial notification on my phone than actually processing things the right way and staying on top of my tasks. The more I used Asana for the other areas of my world, the more I realised that with a simple daily email with everything I had due today, coming up, and overdue, I could quickly and easily plan my day. If something was time-specific it should be in my calendar already anyway.

Personal Projects in AsanaI have now completed my migration from Wunderlist to Asana’s Personal Projects area for all my personal reminders and errands. So far I’ve found it more effective at getting me to get through my tasks and I owe that to the daily planning tools that are inherent in Asana. Moving tasks between the “Today”, “Upcoming”, and “Later” sections makes it very easy for me to see what I need to take care of now and what’s coming up next. I can also leave many non-urgent tasks as unassigned. This leaves me free to focus on what’s important, based on what shows up under “My Tasks”. As time permits, or at my weekly review time, I can peruse all my personal projects for any tasks I would like to take action on in the coming week.

Asana is now my sole system for managing actions across my 9-to-5 job, hobbies and other projects, and my personal life. I’ve written previously, when I listed some of my favourite apps, that I also use Evernote. I received some feedback that Evernote could be used for task management too. That’s true, but Evernote, as it is today, has not been designed as a task management system. Therefore, Evernote remains my system of reference while Asana is my new universal system of action.

What’s your system of action? Do you completely separate work and personal life in different tools? What’s you’re experience been like?

  • http://marcusplatt.co.uk/ Marcus Platt

    I’ve played around with Wunderlist numerous times myself, mainly for sharing simple lists with family members like grocery shopping. But I always found it too limiting for any project type list management, perhaps Wunderlist 3 will add some new features? https://www.wunderlist.com/blog/thanks-for-making-wunderlist-app-of-the-year-2013
    I think I will stay with Nozbe for a while longer yet though, it really works for me.

    • http://www.cloudproductivity.net/ Jeremy Roberts

      I completely agree that Wundelist is great for keeping super-simple lists, but when you need more power it becomes obvious how simple it is. It’s like a stepping stone to better productivity. Also, it’s awesome you’ve found a tool/app/system that works for you – that’s the most important thing!

  • http://process.st/ Vinay – http://process.st

    Interesting post, I went from asana to wunderlist to Trello. I just found asana was too slow for my liking…

  • Arlen Mark

    Another tool you guys will love to try is proofhub.com. Very useful tool for managing team as well as clients. It’s a awesome combination of project management as well as collaboration. Give it a try.